Keep cool this summer with our ultimate guide to the best ice creams in Hong Kong, featuring Messina, Venchi and more…
We won’t turn our nose up to a good old mochi ice cream from 7-Eleven, but if you’re looking for more frozen treats around town, we’ve got a long list for you to eat through this summer. Covering the most Insta-worthy scoops, ice cream sandwiches, boozy ice pops and plant-based concoctions, here’s our guide to the best ice creams in Hong Kong.
Ice Cream Shops In Hong Kong
Famous for its impeccably swirled signature milk ice cream, Baekmidang’s soft-serves are made with 100% organic milk direct from Nanyang Dairy in Seoul. Stop by the café for a cone (available in flavours Organic Milk, Soy & Organic Milk, Chocolate Milk or half and half), milk shake or fruity ice cream float. And if a single serve isn’t enough, the brand’s original milk and chocolate ice creams can be bought by the tub in-store or online.
BARISTA by Givrés
Tucked away on the corner or Staunton and Shelley Street, this artisan gelato café serves style and substance. Cameras at the ready! The order of the day here are the stunning patented Gelato Roses, built onto your cone petal by petal out of one, two or three flavours. Known also for its coffee, signature offerings at BARISTA by Givrés include the Rose Affogato and Floating Rose (iced coffee or tea topped with a gelato rose).
Dood Bottega Gelatria
Dood Bottega Gelateria’s futuristic store in K11 MUSEA is hard to miss, but it’s the handmade Italian gelato that’s the real draw. The many flavours on offer are made with the finest ingredients, featuring what’s currently in season. Request the Tasting Petti, an offering of four mini cups, to save you the trouble of having to pick just one flavour.
Brought to us all the way from Down Under by Black Sheep Restaurants, Australian cult favourite Gelato Messina presents a full assortment of freshly churned gelatos, available in an array of signature flavours and rotating specials. Not to be missed are the locally-inspired flavours, including Hong Kong French Toast, Milk Tea, Egg Tart – and for the adventurous, Salted Duck Egg Dulce.
Sassy Tip: Celebrating a special occasion? Check out the brand’s whimsical selection of handmade gelato cakes, each one as IG-worthy as the last.
Gelato Messina, 37-43 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.gelatomessina.com.hk
A go-to when you’re on a day out in Stanley or up at The Peak, Gino’s serves small batch artisan gelato made fresh daily with 100% organic Irish milk. Using traditional Italian techniques, this gelateria marries fresh ingredients and seasonal fruits to produce more than 30 classic and contemporary flavours.
Sassy Tip: Taking your ice cream break with your pooch in tow? Don’t let your furry friend miss out the store’s doggy treats, with a portion of each purchase going directly towards helping Hong Kong’s rescue pups.
Gino’s Gelato, Shop G09, G/F, Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley, Hong Kong, 2899 0314
With more than 20 locations spread across the city, Häagen-Dazs is a dependable choice when you need your ice cream craving satisfied. While the classics are hard to beat, be sure to sample the seasonal flavours available.
You don’t go to Holly Brown for a simple scoop of ice cream. How could you with all the delicious flavours and fun toppings (think gummy bears, brownie, Oreos and marshmallows) available? Get your mishmash creation in a tub or waffle bowl, or piled on top of a block of toast for extra indulgence. You can feel a little less guilty knowing Holly Brown’s gelato contains 50% less fat than many of the premium ice cream brands, plus they’re made from natural ingredients and real fruit (with no preservatives or artificial flavouring!).
Holly Brown, G/F, 22 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2869 9008
Ice Cream Gallery
The Ice Cream Gallery exhibits skill in producing a range of ice creams, from Italian gelato to French crème glacée and traditional Japanese Ice Cream. The owner, Arron Liu, not only dabbles in a range of techniques, but also plays around with unexpected flavours such as black truffle, lobster and foie gras. Want to master the art of ice cream-making yourself? Sign up for a course at the company’s Academy of Ice Cream, Asia’s very first professional ice cream school.
Ice Cream Gallery, Room 611, 6/F, Shing Yip Industrial Building, 19 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.icecreamgallery.com.hk
A dessert parlour that serves Japanese flavours with an Italian flair? We’re there! This store has become Insta-famous for its pricy Japanese Premium Melon Deluxe Parfait that presents its signature vanilla soft serve in a supremely sweet Japanese melon “bowl”. If you’re looking for something even fancier, there’s the Cremadora, which comes completely covered with 99% edible gold leaf.
i CREMERiA, OT-G03A, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong,
i CREMERiA, Shop 263, 2/F, Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/iCremeria
Igloo Dessert Bar
Crossing the harbour by ferry? Situated right by the Central Pier, Igloo Dessert Bar offers a wide range of flavours to have in a cup, cone or cookie bowl. Our favourites include the White Rabbit Candy, Horlicks and Maltesers gelatos. Also available in-store is its range of iceage! brand animal-free ice creams (more on this below).
Practically an institution in Hong Kong, we’re well attuned to the sound of a Mr. Softee ice cream truck nearby. The menu may be limited, but you can’t go wrong with the classic soft serve ice cream cone. There aren’t many vans left around Hong Kong but you can usually find one outside the Central and TST ferry piers.
Hailing from South Korea, this ice cream franchise melds two of our favourite treats into one monster of a dessert. Its signature popcorn-covered soft serve ice creams come in flavours including strawberry, tangerine, caramel, choco, milk or a combination of two. Alternatively, the Monster Shakes make a great on-the-go treat for warm days.
Head to Venchi for some delectable artisan gelato flavours created with premium-quality and natural ingredients such as fresh milk, fruit, nuts (in particular Piedmont Hazelnuts and Green Pistachio from Bronte) and its own brand of single-origin chocolate. Being a cioccogelateria, popular picks include the Cremino and Cuor di Cacao dark chocolate, Giandujotto and milk-chocolate Nocciolato.
If you have a penchant for matcha, Via Tokyo is the spot for you. Expect to find a line outside this popular little soft serve ice cream store. The Original Matcha Cone never fails to hit the spot, but we’re always excited when the limited-time Royal Milk Tea flavour returns to the menu.
An oldie but a goldie, we consider XTC Gelato a Hong Kong staple, with shops conveniently located in Central. Offering a massive selection of classic and innovative flavours (such as Banana Caramella, Clover Honey Yoghurt, Stem Ginger and Hong Kong Milk Tea), there’s something to satisfy everyone. Got a special occasion coming up? Ask about the gelato cakes available to order or have custom-made.
Sassy Tip: You can also find XTC’s gelato in various supermarkets across the city.
XTC Gelato (Central), Shop B, 45 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2541 0500
Ice Cream Sandwiches In Hong Kong
Elephant Grounds boasts a mammoth menu of unique ice cream flavours, including Coffee Mocha Fudge, Thai Iced Tea and Charcoal Vanilla, but it’s the ice cream sandwiches that keep us coming back with a special flavour of the week announced on the roaster’s Facebook and IG feeds. Recurring flavours include The Peanut Gallery (gooey chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter ice cream, strawberry jam & candied peanuts) in Causeway Bay, or opt for the Strawberry Blonde (strawberry ice cream, butter cookies and dried raspberry) in Mid-Levels.
The perfect end to a meal, we can’t get enough of Little Bao’s deep-fried Ice Cream Baos. Trust May Chow to deliver in the dessert department too. Choose between the two signature flavours Green Tea Ice Cream with condensed milk sauce and Salted Ice Cream with caramel sauce (our favourite!) – or have both!
Sassy Tip: The ice cream melts quickly as the baos are fried upon ordering, so don’t spend too much time taking a snap for the ‘Gram.
Little Bao (Central), 1-3 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong, WhatsApp: 6794 8414
Little Bao (Causeway Bay), Shop H1, G/F, 9 Kingston Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, www.little-bao.com
Read more: That Girl: May Chow of Little Bao
Owl’s Choux & Gelato
This little gem is tucked away in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, and serves delicious gelato stuffed in a delicate choux pastry. On sweltering summer days, we love the tart Mango Tango Mega Gelato Choux. The staff at Owl’s Choux are more than happy to make switches to the fillings so you can customise your choux sandwich however you please!
Sugar And Dairy-Free Ice Cream In Hong Kong
Originally stationed as a cold-press juice store on Gough Street, DAMA relocated to K11 MUSEA to bring delectable dairy-free ice cream to Kowloon side. With a fruit to ice cream ratio at up to 80%, expect vibrant swirls of intense natural flavour sat on charcoal waffle cones. You’ve probably seen the brand’s bright fuchsia dragon fruit soft-serve all over the Gram. Too many tempting flavours to decide? Opt for the mini cone set, which allows you to sample up to four flavours in smaller portions.
Just because you can’t eat dairy, doesn’t mean you can’t indulge! Just as creamy and moorish as the milky stuff, Happy Cow delivers delicious, locally produced plant-based ice cream. Available in flavours we know and love, such as Chocolate, Salted Caramel Swirl and Mint Choc Chip, our summertime go-to is the Pure Coconut ice cream textured with desiccated coconut.
Cleverly concocted by Igloo Dessert Bar and US fermentation dairy food tech company Perfect Day, iceage! is Asia’s first-ever animal-free ice cream made with real dairy proteins (which are molecularly identical to those found in cow’s milk). The lactose-free, hormone-free and vegan-friendly ice creams feature Asian-inspired flavours such as red date, coconut, peanut candy, ginger milk pudding, as well as beloved classics like cookies ‘n’ cream and strawberry.
Sure to put a smile on your face, Smile Yogurt does froyo right, serving up the frozen treat with a wide range of toppings and add-ons to choose from. Cool down with a cup of Wild Summer (featuring layers of crispy pineapple, lychee, raspberry sauce, mango, homemade crumbs and vanilla frozen yogurt) or the Premium Mango Fever (with layers of fresh mango, mango sorbet, mango and passion fruit marshmallows, mango pudding and vanilla frozen yogurt).
Found in Central Market and select supermarket stores, locally made So Coco’s cruelty-free vegan ice creams are made with organic coconut milk and organic sugar. The brand embraces Asian flavours, offering tubs of as Black Sesame, Matcha, Thai Tea and Durian. It also carries a line of vegan pet-friendly ice cream!
Hong Kong fave Yo Mama is a frozen yogurt lover’s dream. Choose your base flavour and load it up. Toppings include fresh fruit and a line of sugar-free, gluten-free, raw and organic toppings in the “Superfoods” selection. Be on the lookout for the special featured flavour and topping of the month!
Ice Pops In Hong Kong
ISEE iSEE’s pretty ice pops and Hokkaido milk “snowflakes” are a treat for the eyes and the palate. Pick from its many refreshing flavours such as Rose Apple & Dragonfruit, Chilli Mango and Virgin Mojito – perfect for grabbing on the go on a hot summer’s day.
Completely natural, with no artificial ingredients or preservatives, Nice Pop’s gourmet ice pops come in a variety of enticing flavours and colours. Handmade in small batches right here in Hong Kong, flavours are inspired by traditional Mexican paletas, classic cocktails, traditional Chinese desserts and more. Did we mention most of the pops are vegan?
Read more: Your Guide To Local Hong Kong Desserts
Hero image courtesy of BARISTA by Givrés via Instagram, image 1 @riri.foodie.na via Instagram, image 2 courtesy of Gelato Messina via Instagram, image 3 courtesy of Holly Brown via Instagram, image 4 courtesy of Igloo Dessert Bar via Instagram, image 5 courtesy of Venchi via Instagram, image 6 courtesy of Elephant Grounds via Instagram, image 7 courtesy of @ltanghk13 via Instagram, image 8 courtesy of Smile Yogurt via Instagram, image 9 courtesy of Avenue of Stars Hong Kong via Instagram.